We talked last week about how creativity improves mental health, and one way to exercise creativity is to cook! Choose a recipe, gather the ingredients, turn on some music, and get mixing! If you want to be extra creative, you can put your own twist on the dish, maybe swapping out a certain vegetable for a different one you like better, or adding an extra pinch of cinnamon or vanilla. Making your own food can raise your feelings of self-esteem and accomplishment. Once you get comfortable with it, you can serve your food to others, which is a great means for connection. Cooking as a one-time activity is great, but getting into the routine of it is even better, as it can improve your organization, mindfulness, and your relationship with food, and research shows that those who cook at home tend to be healthier than those who eat out. It can take time to get good at it, so don’t be your harshest food critic, just have some light-hearted fun with it! A lot of the benefit of cooking isn’t the final product, but the process of stepping outside your comfort zone and getting creative.